Jats Stop Dalits From Cremating Old Lady’s Body in Tonk, Rajasthan
The woman’s family was forced to cremate her body on the ground instead of on the platform, as per custom.
People from the dominant Jat community in Rajasthan’s Tonk district stopped Dalits from cremating an old woman’s body at a public crematorium.
The Jats at Gata village destroyed the funeral pyre and allegedly even threatened the family of the deceased, reported The Hindu.
It was only when they sat on a protest at Tonk district headquarters that the police intervened. However, the deceased Phula Devi was cremated on the ground instead of the platform with the tin shed where the funeral rites are usually performed.
The family has alleged that they have been the victims of caste-based discrimination for years now.
It was a full four days after the incident, on 23 December, that the police registered a FIR at Peeplu police station under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 297 (trespassing of funeral ground) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, reported The Hindu.
The Tonk District Congress Committee president Laxman Chaudhary was named as the main accused, said the media report.
The Jaipur-based Centre for Dalit Rights (CDR) slammed the police for not making any arrests so far and highlighted how oppressed castes live in constant fear.
CDR Director Satish Kumar told The Hindu the police had not invoked Sections 4 and 7 of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, which dealt with the offences related to untouchability.
Meanwhile, Prashant Bairwa, the Niwai MLA in whose constituency Gata village is, told The Hindu, “The law will take its course in connection with Mr Chaudhary, who has been named in the FIR,” he said.
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